I didn't know this was even a "thing". According to ClickOnDetroit, a guy with property near Bellaire, Michigan (just east of Torch Lake) took a photo last week of two deer on his property. One was a normal looking whitetail. The other deer was colored pitch black. The photographer and owner of the land, realtor John Roach, posted the photo on Facebook and said, "I see a lot of critters up here but I have never seen nor even heard of one of these."

Not only has John never seen one of these all black deer (the proper term is "melanistic" - it's what makes black panthers, uh... black), neither had the DNR biologist contacted for the story. Steve Griffith said, "I’ve never seen one, and I have been working for the DNR for 20 years."

Albino deer are thought to be in danger since they stick out like a sore thumb to predators. I would think the all black coloring would help this deer hide in the shadows or deep in the woods. HOWEVER - in the photo, this black deer is feeding in bright sunshine - and my thought is that it loses all it's camouflage at that point. So, maybe I'm wrong about it's chances of survival over an albino deer.

You know what I'm about to ask. Have YOU ever seen one of these "melanistic whitetails"?

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